Appalachian Basin

Threats to the Governor Won’t Change the Natural Gas Science

Rachael discusses the increasingly irrational and intolerant tone of the natural gas opposition as a deadline nears for Governor Andrew Cuomo to decide the future of hydraulic fracturing in New York and with it the future of the Southern Tier.  There is a full court press by the antis and it’s not pretty.

Last night my family and I were watching the news and the main story was about natural gas development.  I was, in a word, shocked.  I am sure anyone else who saw it agreed.  A small group of people opposed to natural gas development in the Binghamton area agreed to conduct an interview with a local reporter and demonstrated how completely childish and intolerant they are of anyone else’s views.

As WICZ Fox 40 noted, many people in the Southern Tier and all over upstate New York are hoping natural gas comes to the area because we desperately need jobs, opportunity and better income opportunities.  Times are certainly hard for thousands of people in New York and natural gas development could prove to be the best chance the region has to recapture economic vitality.  Yet, there are still people not only against this development but who refuse to even consider the science, let alone the views of their neighbors.  

Natural gas opponents in upstate New York simply do not have facts to back up their outlandish claims so they have switched tactics and started to employ not s0 subtle threats of harm to those who disagree with them.   They have, to be fair, always threatened to use civil disobedience but behind those words have been murmurs  about the French Revolution and suggestions things could take a violent turn if they don’t get their way.  Now, the groups have launched a website called “Save the Southern Tier” which advocates against natural gas development and for a strategy of this sort.

Isaac Silberman-Gorn is a member of Citizen Action, a well-known anti natural gas group, and he tells us all about their new plans:

Right now our focus is petitioning and such and we’ll shift tactics accordingly.  Governor Cuomo we’re prepared to commit civil disobedience.  We are going to be having trainings and it will be focused on you.

The group then tells the news reporter they have 6,000 people who have pledged to commit civil disobedience to stop natural gas development.  How many of these folks are really ready to put themselves on the line is questionable but, even at 6,000, it  doesn’t even register given the number of people in upstate New York with vastly different opinions.  There are 62 counties, 932 towns and 62 cities in upstate and most of those who reside in areas with any potential for natural gas development think it’s a pretty darned good idea, whether they’re affected businesses, natural gas users or landowners hoping to harvest their resources.

The reaction of this group to these other folks was to treat them as if they didn’t exist and to insist on things going their way or no way, employing questionable tactics to threaten others.  Do they know what civil disobedience really is?  Here’s a definition:

Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance. In one view (in India, known as ahinsa or satyagraha) it could be said that it is compassion in the form of respectful disagreement.

Civil disobedience is defined as respectful disagreement.  Are threats respectful?  Is depicting Governor Cuomo as a devil respectful?  You be the judge.

Regardless, the shocking threats to Governor Cuomo should not be taken lightly.  We have been to several events where people are holding signs depicting him as the devil.  If you were Governor Cuomo wouldn’t you look at this as extreme measures?  Would you comply with whatever they tell you to agree with?


Once the news was over a woman from Massachusetts called our home .  We had no idea what the call was going to be about when we saw the out of area number.  Curious, we answered.  The woman called my father, Earl Colley, and urged him to go to Albany this coming Monday for an anti-natural gas rally.  If the group did any research at all, or were actually from New York, let alone the local area, don’t you think they would recognize his name?  He is part of several coalitions, plays leadership roles in a few and has been mentioned on this blog dozens of times.  The answer is clear, many of the people the opposition has working behind the scenes and funding their efforts are not from the local areas or even the state.

These individuals struggling to convince the Governor natural gas is dangerous face a dilemma because they do not have any science to back-up their claims.  What do they do?  They switch their game plan and begin threatening people whom they have elected.  They verbally threaten the Governor and depict him as a devil.  When will these folks learn throwing a fit because the Governor isn’t listening doesn’t work?  Why are these personal threats tolerated?  Governor Cuomo, look what the natural gas opposition is saying and how they’re acting.  Look who supports their activities.  It’s clear they are the enemy of reasoned debate.


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